After Aliah Lymon graduated from high school in Garretson, S.D.,, this spring, she stayed in touch with many of her teachers. She said she hoped her college experience would provide her the same opportunity.

“It’s very important to build a community around me,” Lymon said.

That’s why she chose University of Minnesota Rochester for college. She received her certified nursing assistant certification this summer, but plans to continue learning.

Phlebotomy and orthopedics are two fields she has her sights set on for now, she said.

That’s why UMR and Mayo Clinic chose Lymon, a UMR freshman, for a new scholarship and education partnership program.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Mayo Clinic and UMR announced a collaborative Invest in Success Scholars Program which offers, in addition to scholarships, mentorships, internships, work studies and job opportunities for students who are looking beyond obtaining a degree, officials said Thursday.

“We’re looking for curious and life-long learners,” said Cathy Fraser, chief human resources officer, Mayo Clinic, adding the program isn’t just about getting people through school.

“It’s about making that choice every two or three years over what your next level of expertise will be.”

Fraser said the program fits with Mayo’s long-term plans to develop new skills as the healthcare industry changes and becomes more global. The industry will rely more on collaboration and data to determine courses of healthcare action and allocation of resources, Fraser added.

Lymon is one of eight students awarded the scholarship this year. Another 10 students will be selected next academic year, said Lori Carrell, UMR chancellor.

“We’re looking for students with deep passion to make contributions to the industry of health,” Carrell said.

Lymon fit that criteria.

“I love learning,” she said. “I love to learn new things.”